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News · A statement from OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof on the cancellation of cap-and-trade

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A statement from OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof on the cancellation of cap-and-trade

June 18, 2018 — The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) is troubled by Premier-designate Doug Ford’s announcement last week that his government’s first act will be to cancel Ontario’s cap-and-trade scheme.

The cap-and-trade scheme is the most cost-effective way for Ontario to comply with the federal carbon-pricing plan. Revenues generated by the scheme fund numerous important programs focused on tangible reductions in energy use by businesses, colleges, universities, hospitals and social housing. The scheme’s cancellation will almost certainly mean that funding for those programs, as well as for programs supporting cycling infrastructure, public transit and electric vehicles, will be scrapped.

In addition to the loss of these programs, the cancellation of cap-and-trade will cost Ontario financially as well. A dubious court challenge to the federal government’s right to impose its carbon-pricing back-stop will cost the province tens of millions of dollars, and the inevitable lawsuits from Ontario businesses that have already purchased $2.8 billion in cap-and-trade permits could be even more costly.

If he carries through with this announcement, Premier-designate Ford will be abandoning a proven method of effectively managing CO2 emissions through a process that has been endorsed by countless scientists and numerous governments, as well as economic organizations like the OECD and the World Bank. We sincerely hope that the new Ontario government will carefully weigh all the consequences and abandon this course of action.

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